Infidelity experiences: ever cheat or been cheated on?

In other thread of mine, we’ve been discussingcumulative sexual experience and its effect on a new relationship. In one post, Linty Fresh wrote

Which to me suggests another thread possibility. Have you ever cheated? Ever been cheated on? Can you explain what happeed? Which do you regret more, and why?

I suppose I should answer my own question:

Yes, to both, I’m afraid. I regret the former much more than the latter.

After my son died and his mother declared that she never wanted to see me again, I went through a rough patch emotionally, which manifested itself as moral turpitude. (I don’t say that to excuse it.) I probably hated nearly every adult woman on the planet at that moment, the sole exceptions being my baby sister and my mother.

Not long after H. left, I got involved with C. She is, incidentally, the love of my life, probably the single kindest, sweetest, human being I’ve ever met, much less been with. But I was full of rage and grief, and her niceness made me want to hurt her – so I cheated. A lot. Whenever she got suspicious, I’d manipulate her so that she’d think she was delusional, or irrationally jealous. I can’t excuse the way I treated her; it was by a good long shot the most vicious thing I’ve ever done. Eventually I 'fessed up, and C., incredibly, forgave me–though she never really trusted me again. We broke up a year and a half later, for good, for unrelated reasons.

A few years later I took up with E. Her infidelity to me was on a significantly smaller scale than mine to C. One night when we were supposed to go out to dinner, I had to work late. She went out with some friends from college and chanced to run into a guy she’d had a crush on years before. The two of them made out in the lobby of her building, she told me tearfully the next morning. If I were as good a person as C., I would have forgiven her. I tried to, but I couldn’t get the image out of my head; and I couldn’t forget what C. had told me once, that cheaters tend to keep cheating until they deal with the issues that moved them to cheat in the first place.

Anyway, that’s me. Anybody else got a story to tell?

Happily married for 13 years, mother of 5, (all the same father, legitimate, only marriage for both) semi religious. Have never even been tempted to kiss another man, even though I have been hit on excessively through the years. Excellent sex life, pretty much every day, even after all this time. Through an act of charity, and tech incompentence 18 months ago, find myself in the midst of an internet affair now. Met the guy in real life 2 months ago for a couple of days, nice connection, good guy, great sex. He has a similiar background. Planning on seeing him again in a month when he flies out. Don’t regret a thing, unless I get caught, then I’d regret it all. How’s that for some moral relativism?

I’m curious cacophonist; aren’t you worried about destroying the family life you’ve built if you’re caught? Do you think your spouse would forgive you? If the sex with your spouse is good, then what is the point of this affair?

As for me, I’ve managed to avoid cheating by never being in a really serious relationship for long until recently. I partially withdrew from the relationship for a variety of reasons, one of them being that I wanted to fuck other women. I have done so, but I still care about my ex. We still get together, sleep together, etc. She a kind, sweet person, but so many things (school, work, distance, living situation, etc.) make it hard for us to have a real relationship. Neither one of us is really happy with the current situation, but I think we both realize we’d be LESS happy without each other. I have no idea how it will end.

Obviously worried about wrecking family. Hubby would be homicidal, or suicidal, or both. Taking as many precautions as possible. If this was only about sex, probably should’ve picked someone who lived a little closer than 1700 miles away. Inadvertent, innocent start, the guy was “safe” for friendship, friendly back and forth.

Well, cacophonist being female, in the divorce she’ll get the kids and because of that she’ll also get the house, the car, the pension fund…

Yeah, of course I feel like shit. Hubby is a good guy, on top of the world. Happily married to a great wife (as far as he knows) 5 beautiful smart well adjusted kids, nice house, doing well as the owner of a small business. Hey, I can’t figure it out, I have a life that people would literally kill for. Literally. Made in the shade and all that. And no, I don’t particularily have a self destructive personality, or are one of those women who crave chaos. I like to solve problems, not create them.

Got married at 19 to a man 13 years my senior. Been married 28 years. Have an 11-year-old son.

Took me a long time to figure out that the man I married was deeply troubled and angry and…not quite right in other ways. Asperger’s, maybe? Got involved in an affair that, off and on, lasted nearly 20 years. Never felt guilty.

Got blindsided two years ago by a relationship that was astonishing to me in its physical and emotional intensity – until he went on an antidepressant, which changed the emotional nature of our relationship completely.

Never felt guilty about that one, either. In fact, I feel enormously grateful to have learned what it’s like to be deeply loved and valued and listened to and considered beautiful and desirable.

I’m now in the process of getting a divorce from my 61-year-old, unemployed-for-most-of-our-marriage husband. I hope I get the house and kid, and he’s likely to get a huge chunk of my pension, the car, and perhaps payment of the hefty monthly fee for the COBRA on my health insurance.

I think if I had not entered into this most recent affair, I would be staying where I am, assuming the problems in the marriage were my fault because I’m not trying hard enough, and slowly drinking myself to death.

A moment ago the Google ads were for a website for anonymous confessions, advice on divorce, and more advice on telling if your boyfriend is a cheater. I came back to crow that the ads actually made sense…and now i see that they are for geothermal heating.


I was definitely cheated on once. The hilarious part of it all is that I was cheated on by the ugliest guy I ever dated. To this day, I have no idea why I dated him in the first place. The man didn’t even brush his teeth regularly. How he got me to date him, I still don’t know. How he got other chicks to sleep with him is a complete mystery.

The good news is, the cheating finally gave me a solid platform from which I could launch myself the hell out of the relationship.

Not to hijack, but this is just plain not true. Just one example: when my parents divorced (no cheating involved), Mom got the kids, but she didn’t get the car or the pension fund, and only got half the house. And that was going on 30 years ago, when divorces were much more traditional.

Same exact story here, except at least he brushed his teeth regularly. He was kind of funny-looking, but mysteriously charming when he wanted to be. How he got me to stay with him for a significant period of time before I finally dumped him, I have no idea. (Well, the fact that I was pretty depressed at the time and still rehabbing from a major injury probably had something to do with it.) I will * never* put up with that crap again.

Then there was my long-distance, 2+ year, gut-wrenching long-distance, Chicago-Leningrad thing, which ostensibly ended because of (his) cheating, but I’m not sure whether I believe the story I got…but that is a tale probably best told over copious amounts of alcohol, which for me is probably about 2 drinks.

Never cheated on anyone myself, and I can’t conceive of anything that would make me do it. I’m pretty much wired for monogamy; if I’m attached, I just don’t get interested in other men. The thought wouldn’t cross my mind.

Eva Luna-

“Never cheated on anyone myself, and I can’t conceive of anything that would make me do it. I’m pretty much wired for monogamy; if I’m attached, I just don’t get interested in other men. The thought wouldn’t cross my mind.”

I too have never cheated on anyone previously, and would never thought I would be capable of it. I have never put myself in the position of cheating being even a possibility, ( A near occasion of sin, if you will.) I never saw the attraction of it, but I sure saw the negative repercussions, and heard the stories from afar. And I think if it had been real life, there would have been polite conversation, a little simpatico, and then a big warning klaxon going off in my head. And that would have been the end of it. It’s not like I live in a cave or haven’t had men hit on me, ad nauseum, and if anything I have been repulsed by their sleaziness. I think because it was the internet (not blaming, trying to explain) it gives a sense of intimacy, and immediate gratification, and perhaps a not so serious sense of a relationship.

Nor am I trading up, or looking for a new spouse. Really, I have spent countless hours trying to figure this one out.

Besides having my cake, and eating it, too.

I don’t know if this qualifies or not, but I’ll put it out there and leave judgement to my fellow Dopers:

About 10 years ago (I was in my mid-40s) I and let a friend talk me into appearing in a community theater production. It was a fluffy comedy during the course of which my character and the female lead rekindled an old affair. The young woman playing the other role (let’s call her Rachel because that’s not her real name) was a knockout, intellectual, funny and very much into the whole thespian scene (no pun intended.) I enjoyed the experience thoroughly, but she and the director (her older brother) let me know after rehearsal one evening that the kisses she and I were exchanging on stage weren’t very convincing. After that, Rachel and I were exchanging some pretty soulful kisses onstage.

I’m here to tell you, you cannot passionately kiss someone six times a day for three weeks and not have it affect you. Want to know why Hollywood marriages fall apart so often? This is one reason, I’m sure!

At any rate, without even trying, I became deeply infatuated with Rachel. Oh, did I mention she was about half my age? But I managed to work out my feelings by being completely honest with my wife of (then) almost 25 years. Being a sensitive but fairly jealous woman, she decided the best antidote for my infatuation was for us to have vigorous and frequent sex. I happily took the cure; here I was, kissing and fondling a beautiful young woman in the afternoon (with the whole world’s approval) and making love to an experienced and voracious woman at night.

On opening night, I learned from one of the other cast members that Rachael had feelings for me, too. I careened over the edge. The play ran for four days, during which time I didn’t eat, almost never saw my family, spent all of my time at work (where I was so distracted I accomplished almost nothing) and daydreamed constantly about starting life anew with Rachel.

When I openly declared to my wife that, alas, I was falling in love with Rachel and had to follow my heart, she called a friend who had gone through marriage counseling a couple of years before. She then contacted the marriage counselor and, the day after the play closed, told me if I ever wanted to see either of my sons again I would accompany her to the counselor’s office.

It was the best thing she could have done. Although Rachel and I never actually touched each other, except onstage, my wife felt as though I’d been emotionally unfaithful to her; even though I was sleeping right next to her, she felt like she had lost me to another woman.

The marriage therapy was great, and we still use some of the things we learned about ourselves and each other. I love Razorette more every day because I know that she fought to keep me, even though I’m not sure I was all that worthy. I have asked her if we’d still be together if I’d somehow managed to consumate an affair with Rachel. She just shakes her head.

Oh boy. Yes, to both.

I’ve been cheated on, plenty. The worst was when I got dumped for one of the more notorious local hookers. Just after giving birth to a child with ultimately fatal handicaps. Yeah, I took him back, after he came to his senses, sobered up, straightened out and she went to jail fo a while. Well, that was over twenty years ago. He had a couple of flings after that but I never cheated on him. I was very tempted about seven or eight years ago, but the guy wasn’t interested.

I was also cheated on by my ex, who I was in a pretty intense realtionship with from the ages of fiften to twenty. I cheated on him too, so I guess we came out even. Youth, idioscy and the Seventies.

Now…I’m tempted again. Things are pretty dead between me and the old man. Twenty-five years in, we’re still not legally married and are probably never going to be. He does not wish to. So, that’s that. Yeah, there’s the kids but one’s out on his own and the other is seventeen and hardly notices anything but the computer. It’s not like we do anything as a family.

There’s this guy…

We met through my job at the zoo. He came in to rent a snake for a gig his tribute band was doing. Turns out we have a rockstar in common. Now I go to all their gigs, do some writing for the band (reviews and bios etc.) and generally help out a bit. We’ve become friends. He drops by work and we’ve gone to a party tiogether, that sort of thing. Phone calls and email too. Matter of fact, I’ll be seeing him probably tommorow to work on some band stuff. He also made a point of introducing me to his teenaged son, who lives with his ex most of the time. At the end of September I’ll be going to an out of town show with them, overnight, and staying in the band’s rooms.

If he asks, then yeah, I’ll be with him.

We’re almost the same age - okay, he’s a year younger. At this stage that hardly matters. (45 & 46) He’s single and has his own apartment, as it turns out, about a five minute walk from my house. He’s totally focussed on the band, but there’s definitely something going on between us. You know how a person just feels “right”? He’s a hugger. We always hug when we say goodbye. He feels right. That’s about the only way I can describe it. That, and the fact that he’s stuck in my head like an annoying commercial. We actually met just over a year ago and saw each other around town a few times after the original show, which I escorted the snake to. It’s only during the last couple of months that we’ve really connected. Even so, I realize that after the second time I ever saw him, on the street near where we live, I started looking for him. I don’t mean stalking! Just keeping an eye out when I was in the mall or on the street. It slowly dawned on me that I was really interested. When he called me up at work to invite me to the party, after we’d done a couple of emails, I almost didn’t go. As it turns out, we had a great time and it just cemented the fact that I’m going to be stuck with this guy in my head and heart for a long time to come. I know myself. I don’t fall easilly or often, hell I’d say I loved someone maybe six times, but I go down hard and it lasts.

Aw, hell, whatever happens, happens.

Whew! That’s about as open as I’ve ever been around here. Thanks for listening, you guys. This thread just hit me at the right time.

That’s a BIG thing for me. I’m very jealous with my boyfriend, sexually and emotionally, but I think it’d hurt me a lot more to hear him say “I love you” to someone else, rather than walk in on him fucking someone else. Provided said someone else didn’t have an STD, we could work through a sexual infidelity. An emotional one is an entirely different matter.

My ex cheated on me, several times - with people I considered friends. They aren’t my friends anymore. I’d rather someone dump me and fuck/date someone else afterwards than do it while we’re supposedly in a relationship.


I’ve been married to my current wife for almost 10 years. In all that time I’ve not cheated on her and I never will for one simple reason. She loves me and my cheating would make her cry. I hate to see her cry.

I also don’t have a need to cheat on her. We do just fine together in that department. There is NO sex worth having a change at upsetting her like that.

Funny thing though, personally, I don’t put that much weight on sex. I’d be fine in a relationship where a little side action is agreed on. But, that’s not the agreement my wife and I made together.

If you get dumped straight after, have you been cheated on? If so, then yes, by two different women. (One of whom I kept getting back with for some more of the same a few months down the line, which is why I don’t just say “twice”.)

I’ve been “the other man”, and I have come this -->||<-- close to cheating on Mrs M., so it’s not for me to throw stones - but I do wonder why people with great lives in and out of bed find it necessary to bother. Maybe it’s just a “why do dogs lick their genitals?” thing. I like to think that if I were getting laid regularly, with enthusiasm and skill, I’d never be tempted. But how should I know? Whining, am I? Bite me!

cacophonist I appreciate you’re being open here and I hope you don’t think I’m piling on, but is it possible things in your life aren’t as great as they seem? You say you have a great husband and kids, but you are engaging in behavior that could destroy all of that.

You could give your husband a disease. You are engaging in behavior that you said could drive your husband to suicide.

You could split up your family and rob your children of a healthy attitude about marriage, love and parenthood. If they find out, they will never look at you or your husband the same again. For the rest of their lives, they will know that their mother, the one person in the world who is supposed to always be there for them, betrayed them. Because once you have kids your actions aren’t just about you, they are about the kids. If they find out, you will always be the one who destroyed the family and their father will always be the shmuck who let you.

Obviously, something was missing from your life or you wouldn’t have put the happiness of yourself, your husband, and children in jeopardy over sex with someone you met online.

My ex-husband cheated on me. I had no idea that there was anything wrong until he said he wanted a divorce, and didn’t get confirmation that he cheated until after he had moved out.

Since I didn’t find out until I was past the stage of grieving the end of our relationship and well into the “angry as hell” stage, I got my revenge by cheating back (we were still technically married). He was the type who was still jealous of me seeing other men even though he was living with his brother and screwing sluts left and right, so I took great efforts to seduce practically everyone who knew him…both his brothers, his supervisor from work, his friends, even one of his girlfriends (even though I’m not even bi). And I told every one of them that they were a better lay than him.

He flipped out and I ended up having to get a restraining order against him, but it was worth it.